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Athletics: Aaron Odentz wins both the 5k and 10k as Run Garioch returns to running calendar

Aaron Odentz winning the 10k, his second race of the day. Pictures by Chris Sumner
Aaron Odentz winning the 10k, his second race of the day. Pictures by Chris Sumner

Aberdeen AAC’s Aaron Odentz completed a magnificent double at Run Garioch – winning both the 5k and 10k races.

The 22-year-old Aberdeen University student, who also coaches AAAC’s elite distance runners, took two victories in Inverurie, despite only having an hour’s down time between events.

The running festival returned for the first time since 2019 on Sunday, with 2,100 competitors taking part across the various courses – but it was Odentz who most impressed the crowds who lined the race routes.

In the earlier event, the PMC 5K, Odentz got round in a course record 15:11, destroying Callum Symmons’ previous course-best mark of 15.46 from 2018. Symmons is another 5k-10k double winner at Run Garioch.

Odentz’s 5k time saw him beat first under-18 Caleb McGuire (16.40) of the Dandara Ltd team by a handsome 1 minute and 29 seconds, with Garioch Sports Centre’s Jamie Reid a close third in 16.43.

At 10.30am, less than an hour after crossing the line in the 5k, Odentz was out again in the Dandara 10K, where it was a slightly tighter affair.

His time of 32.54, while short of Kenny Wilson’s 2016 record of 32.32, saw him beat Metro Aberdeen veteran Allan Christie (33.53), the first over-40, by little more than a minute. Richard Strachan, meanwhile, running for Jog Scotland Kintore, and the winner of the 10k the last time Run Garioch was held in 2019, finished third in 34.29.

Odentz will now turn his attention to the Scottish 10K Championships next month with confidence.

First female and male in the 5k – Chloe Gray and Aaron Odentz.

On the women’s side of the 5K, Metro’s Chloe Gray was home first in 18.03, followed by Moira Davie (18.52, Forres Harriers) and Louise Mckenzie (19.19). Gray’s time meant she finished inside the top-10 overall, coming ninth.

Meanwhile, in the 10k, Nicola MacDonald took victory in 36.55, with the Metro Aberdeen athlete also ninth overall for the field.

Nicola MacDonald was first female in the 10k.

More than three minutes back, Kelly Vine-Jones was second in 40.13, while third place went to Hidden Peak Running’s Elaine Wilson in 40.47.

The women’s 10k winner from 2019, Metro’s Nicola Gauld, came fifth in 41.59, which was good enough for her to be crowned first over-40 female.

Kelly takes half marathon honours

Jason Kelly was first male in the half marathon.

The GSC half marathon was won by Metro Aberdeen’s Jason Kelly, who ran the course – which takes in Chapel of Garioch and Polinar Dam – in 1:14.41 to finish ahead of Highland Hill Runners’ Gordon Lennox (1:15.55) and first over-40 John Bonner (1:17.13).

Women’s half marathon champion, Rosa Donaldson, was 15th overall with her time of 1:29.02.

Rosa Donaldson, the first female in the half marathon.

Julie Hoyle (1:31.47, Jog Scotland Kintore) was second and first female over-40, while Susan Naysmith, of Newburgh Dunes RC, came third in 1:38.58.

There were also a host of juniors races, comprised of varying distances and age groups, at Run Garioch.

In the category one race, held over 600m and for kids aged four, five and six, the top three girls were Grace Thomson (3.00), Alisha Whitehouse-Miller (3.03) and Maura Glennie (3.12), while Lochlan Royan (2.40) was followed in the boys’ race by David McCoy (2.56) and Ollie Mitchell (2.59).

The Run Garioch category 1 boys’ race.
The Run Garioch category 1 girls’ race.

In category two – over one kilometre and for kids aged seven, eight and nine years old – Hayleigh Reid (4.22) beat Lily Storey (4.23) and Olivia Baxter (4.24) for the girls, with Euan Callon (3.49), Reuben Henderson (3.50) and Jacob Brands (3.53) the top three boys.

In category three, over two kilometres and for kids aged 10, 11 and 12, the girls race winner was Alana McDonald (7.43), closely followed by Sarah Simpson (7.45) then Sacha Cruickshank (8.05), while Ben Johnstone, in 7.33, claimed the boys’ title ahead of Archie Baxter (7.39) and Corey Stage (7.42).


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